Liberal Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Valise

A Princeton freshman has sparked a heated, and, at times, nasty, debate over the notion of “white privilege.”  In an essay titled “Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege,” Tal Fortgang writes that since descending on Princeton, he has been reprimanded several times by fellow students, who use the phrase “Check your privilege" as a “command that teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world. This phrase, he argues, diminishes one personal’s accomplishments, tears down the concept of meritocracy, and promotes the idea that “our nation runs on racist and sexist conspiracies.”  In part to rebut the assumptions underlying “white privilege,” he writes about his family’s history fleeing the Nazis, immigrating to America, and starting a...(Read Full Article)

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